Ned the Seal is a series of science fiction/fantasy novels written by Joe Lansdale. The books are a little difficult to categorize because they seem to mix and blend every genre of literature known to man.
Order of Ned the Seal Series
|1||Zeppelins West||2001||Description / Buy|
|2||Flaming London||2005||Description / Buy|
|3||Flaming Zeppelins||2010||Description / Buy|
Zeppelins West, the first novel in the series, introduces readers to Buffalo Bill. But this isn’t the Buffalo Bill often portrayed in popular culture. Joe Lansdale’s Buffalo Bill is a head in a jar, and he is very much alive.
Joined by an assortment of characters that include Annie Oakley and Wild Bill Hickock, Bill flies to Japan by Zepplin to meet the Shogun. He claims that his only intention is to assuage the fury of the Japanese in the wake of a recent incident.
But in truth, Buffalo Bill intends to rescue Frankenstein’s Monster from the tyrant’s hands. And even though he succeeds in his endeavors, Bill’s zeppelin is eventually shot down over the Pacific.
It is here that the rascal meets Captain Nemo, an eccentric fellow with a nuclear submarine and a seal called Ned.
Zeppelins West makes no sense. The book should be a pointlessly messy literary undertaking with little in the way of sense or purpose. But the title is pretty popular amongst fans of the Ned the Seal series and it acts as the perfect gateway through which readers are introduced to a world where some of the most significant figures in real and pop culture history come to life.
Ned normally takes center stage as an intelligent seal that can read and write and whose path keeps converging with Lansdale’s strange cast of characters. While the first novella throws him into a blender of a story with the likes of the Frankenstein monster, its sequel finds Ned working with Mark Twain and Jules Verne.
The Ned the Seal series attracts mixed reviews. Fans have praised the books for their originality. There is no idea or concept too ridiculous for Joe Lansdale to use. It is almost as if the author’s brain exploded and every insane idea he ever had was regurgitated onto paper.
Lansdale enthusiasts believe he does an amazing job of pulling all the cookie aspects of the Ned the Seal series into a coherent and cohesive story.
Opponents of the series have criticized the Ned the Seal books for being purposeless. Each title in the series is filled with characters that merely wander about, undertaking a string of minor missions but doing little to build towards a singular, engaging storyline.
Like most Lansdale novels, the Ned novellas prioritize humor above all else; though, there is plenty of heart, horror, and drama.
Best Ned the Seal Books
The Ned the Seal books are most commonly commended for their ingenuity and ambition, with some of the best titles in the series including:
Zeppelins West: Buffalo Bill is a head in a jar that runs the Wild West Circus Show. His companions include notable figures like Sitting Bull and Annie Oakley. The crew is crossing the Pacific Ocean to perform for the Shogun of Japan.
Bill claims that they want to help cool tempers following the battle of Little Big Horn which saw many Japanese warriors die. In this particular timeline, President Grant is working with a powerful Warlord in Japan to conquer more land for the United States.
Buffalo Bill has no interest in politics, though. He intends to use his trip to Japan to retrieve the body of the Frankenstein Monster, which is also his body.
Flaming London: Mark Twain’s life has spiraled out of control. He never thought he would be pushed so far as to sell the last of his library. But that is exactly what happens. Mark Twain is destitute. His plans to visit Jules Verne go awry when he encounters an injured seal on his way to Verne’s home.
Ned, the seal, might be the one person Mark needs to survive the invasion of the Martians.
Other Book Series You May Like
The “Hazel Martin Mysteries” Series by Leighann Dobbs is another great read. The Hazel Martin Series is historical fiction that follows the exploits of a mystery novelist who solves crimes in her spare time. She is aided by a cat she calls Dickens.
You may also enjoy the “Colt Family” Series by Don Bendell. These historical novels follow the exploits of the men and women of the Colt family and the courage they must show in the face of those forces that threaten them and their property.
What Is The Next Book in The Ned The Seal Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Ned The Seal Series. The newest book is Flaming Zeppelins and was released on January, 1st 2010.